15-07-16-2201NE09X godward.jpg
An Ionian Dancer by John William Godward which is estimated at $300,000-400,000 at the first Fine Art Bourse sale on September 14.

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Launched last month, FAB is the brainchild of Australian auctioneer Tim Goodman and they are currently gathering material for their inaugural sale on September 14.

The Godward has come from an American private collection where it has lain unseen for over 90 years. Also known as The Tambourine Girl, the 2ft 8in x 16in (81 x 41cm) signed oil on canvas from 1921 has been in the same family for three generations. The vendor's family acquired from a dealer who in turn bought it from the artist's London dealers Goupil not long after it was painted.

Depicting a young girl set against a familiar marble backdrop and azure waters, it was one of five works painted the year before Godward's suicide following his return to Britain from Rome.

"Purest Escapism"

Well known picture dealer Rupert Maas who is a specialist adviser to FAB said: "Godward was a troubled and reclusive personality whose paintings were the purest escapism, from a flawed modern world into the imagined perfection of a Graeco Roman world evoked by the great archaeological discoveries of the late Victorian Age. His later paintings, of which this is a particularly fine example, of lush beauties clad in crisp drapery against cool marble under cloudless Ionian skies, offered release from the grim realities of the Great War."

The record for Godward stands at $1.22m (£787,100) for the 1915 work A Fair Reflection which sold at Sotheby's New York in May 2012, while a 1909 oil painting of a seated figure entitled Summer Idleness: Day Dreams took £320,000 at Lawrences of Crewkerne in October 2012.

Under FAB's innovative pricing model, the buyer's premium at the sale on September 14 will be just 5%.